When I started working at CAES it was right in the middle of DEAM 2016. I was in the midst of training and job shadowing, not quite comfortable in my role yet, I didn’t attend any of the DEAM events throughout the rest of the month. This year I was excited and was really looking forward to the experience. I even had the opportunity to nominate one of our employers for the CEFN #DEAMEmployer Awards. They didn’t win, but it really opened my eyes as to what being an inclusive employer meant and all the work that employers have done to really up the bar and get involved with their communities in a diverse and inclusive way. The highlight of my experience this year had to have been the DEAM Film Festival hosted in partnership with Bow Valley College and Picture This Film Festival on October 17th.

There was some great dialogue and some incredible stories shared through film, my favorites being ‘A World for Us All’, which illustrated the diversity and perseverance of a variety of actors involved with the Special Olympics opening ceremonies that took place in London. These actors truly put together a phenomenal show. The other film I really loved was ‘Employment Matters Too’.  This was filmed here in Alberta and really resonated with the work I do here at CAES as a Career Consultant. These were real people holding real jobs, and I think it is so important for society to recognize that everyone can have a seat at the table if they so wish to do so! My understanding of disability and the individuals I work with and support continues to grow, and I am excited to expand my perspectives and thought processes around empowering individuals.